Instructional coordinators work to improve the quality of education in classrooms. Often specializing in different subject areas, they develop instructional materials, train teachers, and assess educational programs. They help teachers and schools add new technological components to their curriculum. Instructional coordinators first determine whether a school’s curriculum is meeting the needs of its students. In order to evaluate this, they meet with members of educational committees and advisory groups to learn about academic subjects and how those subjects are helping students prepare for various occupations. They may design questionnaires and interview school staff about the curriculum. After compiling and reviewing this research, they recommend ways to improve instruction and curriculum.
Instructional coordinators also review educational materials, such as textbooks and software, and make purchase recommendations. They monitor and supervise the use of those materials by teachers in the classroom. Instructional coordinators train teachers and administrators in the use of materials and equipment, and help them improve their overall teaching skills. When a school district introduces new content, program innovations, or organizational structures, the role of instructional coordinators becomes vital.
The main personal trait that is crucial for instructional coordinators is strong interpersonal and communication skills. They must be good at making decisions about curriculum options and be able to organize and coordinate efficiently and effectively. It is also important for instructional coordinators to be familiar with computer technology because they are often involved in gathering and coordinating technical information for students and teachers.
In 2002, instructional coordinators earned a median annual salary of $47,350. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $25,880, and the highest 10%, who earned more than $76,820.
Training and Education
Most instructional coordinators have earned a master’s degree in education or higher. The minimum requirement for these positions is a bachelor’s degree in education. Most instructional coordinators have training in either a specific subject, such as mathematics or history, or in curriculum development and instruction. They must be experts in developing educational materials and have a good understanding of how to teach specific groups of students. For these reasons, many instructional coordinators have worked as teachers before transferring to the occupation. Work experience as a principal or assistant principal can be very helpful.
College courses relevant to this occupation include curriculum development and evaluation, instructional approaches, and research design. These courses help future instructional coordinators create and implement research that can determine the effectiveness of curriculum and help them improve student performance. Most instructional coordinators must take continuing education classes in order to make sure their skills are up-to-date. These may include subjects such as teacher evaluation techniques, curriculum training, new teacher induction, consulting and teacher support, and observation and analysis of teaching.
In 2002, instructional coordinators held about 98,000 jobs. More than 30% worked in local government education. 20% worked in State government education.
Between 2002 and 2012, employment of instructional coordinators is expected to grow faster than the average. Their services are indispensable when it comes to creating curricula and training the workforce. The demand for these workers will steadily increase, due to a continuing emphasis on improving the quality of education. They will also be in demand in order to implement new technology as it becomes available, to train teachers in current methods, and to demonstrate new teaching techniques.
For more information on how to pursue this profession, please see our Education Degree directory.